This is a comprehensive book summary of the book Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill. Covering the key ideas and proposing practical ways for achieving what’s mentioned in the text. Written by book fanatic and online librarian Ivaylo Durmonski. Supporting Members get full access.
The Book In Three Or More Sentences:
A unique approach to understanding the issues we possess as a nation and also on an individual level. By interviewing the Devil himself, Napoleon Hill describes what is holding us back. The reason we’re depressed, overweight, addicted to narcotics, drugs, cigarettes, sex. During the conversation with the Devil, the curtain for a happy and successful life slowly uncovers.
The Core Idea:
In the face of the Devil, the author is placing thoughts, habits, surroundings which are making us prisoners, slaves to his Majesty. Napoleon Hill helps us understand that “going to hell” doesn’t happen after we’re dead, it’s happening at this very moment – while we’re living. The insights from the conversation with the Devil hold the key to overcoming the negative things that are happening in our own lives. Convince us that having a clear idea of where we want to go is crucial for slaying our inner demons and thriving as individuals.
5 Key Lessons from Outwitting the Devil:
Lesson #1: Hesitant – The Worst Disease Ever
Have you ever felt paralyzed from not being able to make a simple decision? I have. You rethink the same thing over and over again and never end up with a final solution. Some people struggle with this throughout their whole lives.
Sometimes you know what to do, but you’re not sure how to act or how exactly to apply what you know. In most cases, we end up postponing a simple task and eventually acting on the safe side. We do this because we’re afraid that doing something new will lead to something we can’t predict. And things we can’t predict are usually things we’re afraid of.
That’s why people never go to talk to the girl on the train. They never start their own businesses. Never do something new. They want to feel safe and feel in control.
But outside of our own security bubble lies something else. A world full of new emotions and adventures. Yes, there are times when doing something bold will lead to a dead end. But if you live your whole life playing on the safe side you’ll never truly live.
In short, being hesitant is not a quality you want in your skillset. If you are insecure, others will notice this pretty much immediately after you meet them. And other people don’t adore boring people that are predictable. Act boldly more often and you’ll build up your confidence and start making different decisions. Who knows, maybe one of those decisions will lead to a successful venture or a romantic relationship.
Lesson #2: The Six Deadly Fears
Fear of poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of love, old age, and death. These dreadful emotions are what the Devil uses to keep us
All of the things above are slowly installed in our brains while we interact with the outside world. By the age of 12, we can be already mentally damaged by the other kids our age, or even by our parents. If this is not noticed in time, we will probably grow up having all sorts of issues: low self-esteem, fear of the opposite sex, not having a clear direction in life, not being able to handle even the most basic problems.
The worst, by my experience, is having low self-esteem resulting in really awkward conversations with the opposite sex, tragic job interviews, constant anxiety while attending social events. Your inability to communicate with other people will most certainly screw your life and keep you away from evolving as a person.
Fear of poverty is even worse. We are so drastically scared of losing our jobs that we never do anything out of the safe zone. A lot of us start a job, thinking that is going to be a temporary one, but eventually, we never have the balls to quit so we can pursue our true calling. Worried that we might end up living on the street, we salute our bosses and obey their every command.
Fortunately, you can overcome these fears. Believing in yourself and your skills, honing your craft, connecting with the right people, finding your true calling, and never stop pursuing what you want in life. These will make you more confident and give you the strength to confront whatever life throws at you.
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